Four Opposition Parties Name Mayoral Candidate

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The FINANCIAL — The New Unity for Georgia, a political union gathering four non-parliamentary opposition parties, named Giorgi Vashadze as its mayoral candidate for the upcoming municipal elections in Tbilisi.

Giorgi Vashadze unveiled his program an outdoor campaign meeting in front of the Public Service Hall in downtown Tbilisi, saying his program rests on three major components – security and comfort for every citizen; education and development; employment and success, according to Civil.Ge.

Giorgi Vashadze, who quit the United National Movement in 2016 and set up the New Georgia party, served as the deputy justice minister under the previous government, where he was overseeing the development of the Public Service Halls – one-stop shops where citizens can get multiple services from various state agencies.

Vashadze spoke at length on the innovations that he would like to introduce in the city governance and pledged to reorganize the self-governing bodies and to abolish the district-level executive bodies (Gamgeoba) in Tbilisi, denouncing them as “bureaucratic leftovers.”

The four non-parliamentary opposition groups – the New Georgia, the European Democrats, the Civil Alliance for Freedom and the New Unity for Georgia decided in early August to join forces for the municipal polls in October. Before that, the parties called on the opposition forces to unite and name a joint mayoral candidate, but the initiative was rejected by other parties.

Vashadze is the eighth mayoral candidate to have been nominated for the upcoming municipal polls in Tbilisi. Besides him, Tbilisi voters will have to make their choice from the following candidates: Kakha Kaladze of the Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia; Zaal Udumashvili of the United National Movement; Elene Khoshtaria of the Movement for Liberty – European Georgia; Tengiz Shergelashvili of the Development Movement, Irma Inashvili of Alliance of Patriots; Kakha Kukava, joint candidate of the Democratic Movement – United Georgia and the Free Georgia; and Aleko Elisashvili nominated by an independent initiative group.

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